Document Type



Department of Education Studies

Conference End Date


Conference Title

Education, Ethnicity, and Inequality Symposium: Issues and Insights


nationals and highlights the ways public school teachers engage in and disrupt racialization of immigrant/migrant/foreign children. Racialization will be defined and the presenter will highlight how racialization allows ‘common sense’ views of certain groups of students to be created and recreated and how these views impact educational opportunities of immigrant/migrant/ foreign students in Japan. The data presented was collected in 2009 through surveys, interviews with teachers and class observations. Middle school teachers were chosen because of their positioning within the Japanese educational system. Currently, in order to enter most public high schools, students are required to pass examinations and/or receive a recommendation from their middle school teachers or principals. Thus, since access to high ranking public schools is limited, it is argued that middle school teachers’ beliefs regarding their students ‘abilities’ ‘personalities’ and ‘cultures’ impact their decisions regarding the schools to which their students should apply or whether they should apply at all. Finally the presentation highlights the apparent disconnect between national policies on the Symposia Abstracts education of immigrant/migrant/foreign children and the work teachers do. The meaning of ‘equal’ as understood by the Japanese Fundamental Law of Education (FLE) and the lack of guidelines or support for teaching Japanese as a Second Language (JSL) by the Japanese Ministry of Education (Monkasho) create a context in which teachers understand that immigrant/migrant/foreign children are not a priority. Some challenges these notions; others engage in racialization to rationalize the disempowerment of students.

Conference Location

Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR


Middle school, race, racialization, immigrant students, Japan, educational policies

Publication Date


Place of Publication

Hong Kong SAR